Dublin Port Company has announced the launch of Cruise Dublin, the company’s new Cruise Tourism Development and Marketing agency established to grow Dublin as Ireland’s premier port of choice for cruise.
Cruise Dublin’s role is to promote Dublin as Ireland’s cruise capital to cruise lines internationally, working collectively with its members who are drawn from the capital’s leading retail outlets, visitor experiences and tourism bodies, including Fáilte Ireland. As a membership organisation, Cruise Dublin’s remit is to support those businesses in the capital looking to develop their offering in tandem with the future growth of Dublin as a marquee cruise destination.
Its formation comes as figures reveal that cruise tourism is currently growing at a rate of 20 per cent per annum in Dublin, and projected to grow substantially in the coming years. Dublin Port Company’s ABR Project, recently approved by An Bord Pleanála, will facilitate future growth and allow Dublin Port to handle the world’s largest cruise liners, including the 360m long Allure of the Seas. The ABR Project, once complete, will mean that larger ships will be able to routinely call at Dublin, turn within the expanded Alexandra Basin West and berth as far upriver as East Link Bridge, adding a new dimension to the cityscape.
Cruise Dublin’s work begins in earnest tomorrow, when it takes up position at the world’s leading cruise business convention, the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (14-17 March). Dublin will be the only Irish port with a dedicated exhibition space at this year’s event, which attracts over 11,000 attendees and nearly 800 exhibitors annually, bringing together ports, cruise lines, suppliers, travel agents and partners.
During the week, Cruise Dublin will also meet with Cruise Europe to finalise plans for the Cruise Europe Conference in Dublin in 2016. The three day event is set to attract over 200 delegates from leading cruise destinations throughout Europe from all the major cruise lines and service suppliers to the cruise industry worldwide. This is the first time that the event will take place in Dublin, providing an opportunity to showcase the city as a leading cruise tourism destination.
Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services at Dublin Port Company with responsibility for cruise, said: “Dublin Port Company established Cruise Dublin as a marketing development agency to work collectively with its members to attract international cruise lines to the capital, and represent members in our work with Cruise Ireland, Cruise Europe and Fáilte Ireland.”
“We want to promote Dublin as a premium cruise destination directly to cruise companies and work with businesses in Dublin to tailor packages to the needs of the cruise lines and their passengers. This includes attracting ‘Free Independent Travelers’, who normally disembark without an itinerary. We are looking at developing a systematic approach to guiding these passengers towards our members’ attractions, experiences and shopping using a new Cruise Dublin Visitor Card ahead of, and upon, arrival.”
Representatives from the city’s retailers and attractions, as well as tour operators and members from Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Fingal Local Authorities recently gathered at Dublin Port for a briefing on Cruise Dublin and the future of cruise tourism at Dublin Port.
Jim Keogan, Assistant CEO, Dublin City Council presented plans of the Docklands development demonstrating the port’s improved connectivity to the city, thus making Dublin a ‘City Centre Port’ and suitable for the ‘home porting’ market.
Dublin Port Company’s Head of Corporate Services with responsibility for cruise, Pat Ward, confirmed; “We are also commencing promotion of Dublin as a ‘Home Port’ which, once established, will dramatically increase the number of bed nights in Dublin. It’s an exciting initiative that needs to be commenced now if Dublin is to reap the rewards by 2020.”
“Dublin Port Company has been the driving force behind the development of Dublin’s burgeoning cruise tourism business, having worked to attract and build this valuable business for the city for over 30 years. This is the next step in creating a positive economic impact for the city, enhancing inbound tourism and contributing to the development of Docklands.”
According to Dublin Port Company’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’ Reilly; “The big challenge will be a lack of 5 star hotels in and around the Port and the City Centre. We have a window of opportunity to make a difference now, but this can only be achieved if we all work together - the businesses, the agencies and the Port. We are doing our part in our developments – it’s up to the industry now to “jump on board”.